Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue has expressed appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Council of State for granting state pardon to Sen. Joshua Dariye and Rev. Jolly Nyame.
Mr Dariye and Nyame, former governors of Plateau and Taraba, respectively, were serving terms at the Kuje Correctional Centre, FCT, over financial malfeasance while in office between 1999 and 2007.
Mr Ortom’s appreciation was conveyed in a statement issued in Makurdi on Friday by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Nathaniel Ikyur.
“Ortom, while fielding questions on a national television programme a fortnight ago, appealed to the Federal Government to review the cases of Dariye and Nyame with a view to granting them state pardon,’’ he stated.
Ortom said in the statement that some useful lessons must have been learnt from the incarceration of the duo for abuse of office.
The governor also thanked friends, families and political associates of Dariye and Nyame who stood by them during their incarceration.
Nyame, 66, was governor of Taraba from 1999 to 2007. He was serving a 12-year jail term.
The Supreme Court upheld his conviction in February 2020.
Dariye, 64, was Plateau governor also between 1999 and 2007. He was jailed for stealing N2 billion.
The former governor, elected as senator representing Plateau Central in the Senate in 2015, was sentenced in June 2018, but still completed his tenure from jail in June 2019.
Justice Adebukola Banjoko of the High Court of the FCT convicted Dariye on June 12, 2018, and sentenced him to 14 years imprisonment on charges of criminal breach of trust and two years jail term for criminal misappropriation.
Following an appeal against the judgment, the Court of Appeal in Abuja reduced the jail term to 10 years on Nov. 16, 2018.
While the Court of Appeal affirmed his conviction, it held that Section 416 (2) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 prohibited the imposition of a maximum sentence on a first offender, such as the convict.
The National Council of State granted state pardon to 157 others on Thursday.
Among them were former army general and minister in the Gen. Sani Abacha regime, Tajudeen Olanrewaju and a lieutenant colonel, Akiyode, who was an aide to Gen. Oladipo Diya, former deputy to Gen. Abacha.
All junior officers jailed over the 1990 abortive Gideon Orkar coup were also granted state pardon. NAN